Iceland or Gyr Falcon

gyr-falconPictured (right) is John J Audubon’s illustration of the Iceland or Gyr Falcon, today commonly referred to as the Gyrfalcon.

This hand-colored lithograph is Plate #19 from the Octavo Edition of Birds of America – created from 1840 to 1844.

Audubon’s Field Notes that Accompanied This Illustration:

“On the 6th August, 1833, while my young friends, THOMAS LINCOLN and JOSEPH COOLEDGE, accompanied by my son JOHN, were rambling by the rushing waters of a brook banked by stupendous rocks, eight or ten miles from the port of Bras d’Or, on the coast of Labrador, they were startled by a loud and piercing shriek, which issued from the precipices above them. On looking up, my son observed a large Hawk plunging over and about him. It was instantly brought to the ground. A second Hawk dashed towards the dead one, as if determined to rescue it; but it quickly met the same fate, the contents of my son’s second barrel bringing it to his feet. “

Plate number #19 (Octavo Edition) – Iceland or Gyr Falcon